How to parry - Resident Evil 4

Capcom's recipe for how to parry with the knife in Resident Evil 4: A dash of Dark Souls and a heaping serving of Leon Kennedy's trademark cool attitude.


Leon can do more with his trusty combat knife in Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake than slash and stab. In the right circumstances, you can parry enemy attacks, inflicting wear and tear on your knife’s durability meter but saving you precious health. In many cases, knowing how to parry can mean the difference between continuing to fight and staring at the game over screen.

How to parry

Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake teaches you how to parry early in the game, but you can parry before the in-game tutorial if you know how the game mechanic works. First, make sure you have a knife equipped. Open your attaché case (also known as your inventory) and select Leon’s combat knife; if that’s broken, you can equip a kitchen knife or boot knife.

With the knife equipped, wait until an enemy attacks you with a melee weapon, such as a pitchfork or a throwing weapon like a hatchet. A symbol will appear over the knife icon in the bottom corner of your screen. When that symbol appears, press the button you assigned to parry, usually L1 on PlayStation 4 and PS5, and LB on Xbox Series S|X. You can even parry shortly before the icon appears, but be mindful that some attacks have shorter or longer windows of opportunity than others.

The knife icon in your HUD (circled here) will light up, indicating when you can parry an attack.
The knife icon in your HUD (circled here) will light up, indicating when you can parry an attack.

If you parry correctly, Leon will deflect the blow and often stagger the enemy, giving you an opening to counter attack.

Parrying and durability

The best defense is often a good offense, but running away is often a better option in Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake. Remember, your Combat Knife has limited durability even after you’ve repaired and upgraded it. Attacking wears away at the knife’s durability, but so does parrying. Deflecting heavy attacks such as chainsaws consumes even more durability.

Resident Evil 4 is heavy on action, but it’s also important to understand resource management. As cool as parrying looks—and it feels even better to pull off!—your knife’s durability is usually better spent on dealing critical attacks and executing stealth kills.

Mastering parrying brings you one step closer to becoming a bladesmith in Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake. The next step is learning how to care for your blade. Be sure to visit the Shacknews Resident Evil 4 guide hub, where you’ll find info on how to repair the knife, how to perform stealth kills, and much more.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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